Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives

What is a reporting software?

Reporting softwares implement enhancements to traditional reporting methods by means of state- of- the- art computer and electronics technologies. These enhancements appear in the design, in the data content, and in the means of sharing the report to all the relevant personnel of the organization. One of these enhancements is the use of interactive dashboards that feature key reporting metrics   accessible through intuitive dashboard controls. These metrics are also made accessible to other personnel upon preliminary authentication of their identities. Business enterprises makes great use of these innovations of reporting softwares in their business environment and personnel operations by being the provider of their demands for data processing.Large volumes of data obtained from field and remote teams of the company are properly processed with the use of reporting softwares in the enterprise level. Reporting softwares are equipped with complex algorithms that enable it to carry out data mining and data analytic procedures that are necessary for the large volume of data that companies handle.

Another relevant feature of reporting softwares is the ability to see various possibilities and scenarios that may happen in the course of the various interactions of the organization or business enterprise with the market, the people or other businesses. In simple terms, reporting softwares can extrapolate events outside of current statistics by means of the complex algorithms that are at its disposal. An example of this is the prediction of trends in product sales used by companies with sales programs. Trends enable sales managers to prepare for either a future crisis or a future opportunity. But the mathematics that are contained in reporting softwares are not limited to predictions and the forecasting of trends.Reporting softwares can also identify functional relationships between variables like for example direct or indirect relationships between two or more categories of data.

Who uses reporting softwares and why?

Reporting softwares are predominantly used in the business community by business professionals but they also see use in the fields of engineering, scientific research, military and many other fields. One striking example of a reporting software that showcases the powers and capabilities that reporting softwares have is the Internet based sales reporting software. There are many Internet based sales reporting tools available out there in the Internet market but this article will only discuss key features they share in common and not their individual characteristics. One key feature that they share in common is the use of interactive dashboards showing key sales metrics. Sales categories like sales cycles per team or member, win rates, area coverages are easily readable in the dashboards of the sales reporting software. These data, instantly accessible upon log in of any interested sales team member, greatly reduces the work requirements of sales personnel who are researching on sales data to improve sales of merchandise. Another capability of an Internet based sales reporting tool is real-time and semi real-time status updating. Sales executives in charge of the overall sales program can get a better generalization of the sales program with field sales teams regularly updating on their status via the software.

To sum up, business and other professionals opt for reporting tools that have connectivity, processing power and graphical capabilities in order to facilitate data access, data sharing and provisions for more presentable designs in making organizational reports. All these features are easily found in reporting softwares that have either Internet or Intranet capabilities.

How to use reporting softwares

To make use of electronic reporting softwares, one must of course have the corresponding hardware and operating systems that will host the reporting softwares in demand by the business enterprise or organization. Although compatibility issues are not predominant issues given the facility of obtaining supporting computer architectures, unforeseen circumstances such as computer crashes are not really that uncommon especially given the enormous amounts of data that businesses handle. Thus, in using reporting softwares, stability of the hardwares and operating systems is a prime concern. In using reporting softwares, workers must have a basic knowledge of computer systems and other related technologies such as mobile technology that they will use in the reporting procedure. There are multitudes of options to have connectivity for data sharing and processing.For one such option as reporting softwares, a supporting computer architecture as well as net savvy on the part of the personnel is a basic requirement.

Advantages of reporting softwares

Many advantages come to the picture when using reporting softwares instead of traditional reporting methods. Workers, for example, no longer have to go through the bureaucracy in order to peruse and obtain relevant data to them. Reporting softwares, with the minimal requirements of log in infos, can deliver pertinent data to workers using their desktops with just a few mouse clicks. Even mobile devices can be put to use in harnessing the power of electronic reporting softwares by delivering data contained in mobile apps to workers who can access them. Remote workers makes full use of these abilities of reporting softwares by being updated on project status at regular times. Critical information are instantaneously delivered to inquiring workers in easy to understand forms such as graphs, tables and charts. Speed, clarity and presentability in form are just few of the hallmarks that define reporting softwares.

Disadvantages of reporting softwares

Reporting softwares do have some weaknesses that any worker actively using it for data processing should bear in mind. For example,key-ing of data should be done with utmost care and attention, for if a worker happens to key in wrong data, it will be reproduced hundreds of times or more depending on the iterations that the particular report has. Another weakness is that of the competition getting its hands on company data that features sensitive information.

Best ways of using reporting softwares

For a reporting software to deliver on its promise of getting every personnel, even remote workers, to their top performing forms, it is imperative for it to have a good design. Data must have good presentation, appealing in appearance and orderly in structure. With respect to content – accuracy, relevance and completeness must be at its core. With the use of the interface, the key-ing of data should be at minimum to minimize the chances of error. And when it comes to the workers who do the reporting, knowing what to include and what to leave out makes the difference between an expert professional and a simple staff member.

How Teamreporter helps in software reporting

Teamreporter is one of the various software reporting tools available in the Internet market today. It stands out as one of the simplest, if not the simplest in form and operation. It is a web based email application which processes the status of a project team and its project via its automated email operations. Field workers and remote workers are queried by Teamreporter and they reply to it their status reports. An overview is created from the sum total of the reports and sent back to each team member including the remote workers. Everyone is updated without the need for a status meeting. In operation Teamreporter does the following:

  • Creating questions that the team members will answer.
  • Tailoring the questions to be asked to fit project needs
  • Scheduling the sending out of email queries.
  • Team members replying with their status reports.
  • Upon receiving individual team member reports,scheduling of overall status updates to every team member.
  • Adopting preset business scenarios.
  • Prompting team members who forget their reports.
  • Arranging an archive of team status reports

It has the following advantages:

  • Ready in 5 minutes
  • Free startup
  • Accessible even to novice users and managers
  • No IT software or hardware requirements
  • Only email login required for Team members

With Teamreporter, remote working teams are constantly updated without hassle.

Alternatives to reporting softwares

Of course there is the traditional way of delivering and receiving reports, but what about the equally modern alternatives to reporting softwares?

Cloud computing could probably function as an alternative to reporting softwares as a tool for delivering status updates and reports to workers on the field and those who are remote working. With its accessibility and storage design, cloud computing can give similar services to workers by accepting status reports from the field and making the same report available to all simultaneously.

Learn more about Teamreporter

Teamreporter is free for small teams (up to 4 members)